Coronavirus has caused millions worldwide to quarantine themselves, and thousands of different industries to adjust to the way they’re running their businesses in order to prevent the further spread of this novel virus. One of the most recent and significant changes the world has seen is the closing of hundreds of cultural attractions such as all Broadway productions, Disneyland, and multiple museums. While you’re on your leave from work and waiting for the world to figure out how to further stop this virus, there’s a multitude of things you can do to entertain yourself from home.
If you’re one of the millions of individuals who had plans to visit any of these cultural landmarks within the coming months and are now disappointed that you had to postpone, have no fear, as many museums worldwide have begun, or are continuing to, offer free virtual tours through their establishments via their website for your viewing pleasure until you can safely visit them again. Here’s a list of just a few options of places you can “travel” to through your computer screen:
The British Museum in London is located in the heart of the city and holds some of the most famous mummy remains in Europe. Their virtual tour allows users online to travel through the archives and explore the historical contexts behind some of the more predominantly known pieces.
The Guggenheim Museum in New York is known for its iconic spiral staircase architecture and multitude of art pieces from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras. Google’s Street View lets visitors walk the staircase online and stand in front of any piece from any era that they please, all from their couch.
Google in general is the main reason all of these virtual tours are possible. Their Arts and Culture department recently partnered with over 500 museums and galleries worldwide to deliver virtual tours that make users feel like their standing in the museums themselves. This effort was already in motion before the corona pandemic, however, now more than ever Google is emphasizing their newest feature that delivers just a taste of the culture all of these establishments have to offer.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. has two major online exhibits that show off two very specific art periods. The first is an exhibit exploring how American fashion evolved between the years of 1740 and 1895. It’s focus is on the textiles used and how gendered style developed from the colonial to Revolutionary eras of history. The second focuses on a series of Baroque paintings from famous Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer.
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea gives New York City’s MoMA a true run for its money. While the museum itself obviously emphasizes more modern works to come from Korean artists, the virtual tour seamlessly incorporates historical contexts to past art influences for the more modern exhibits.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has quickly become one of the most popular museums on the planet. The virtual tour explores not only the many works done by Van Gogh, but also takes users through the tragedy and genius that was Van Gogh’s inner workings. The museum itself holds the largest collection of work done by the artist, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings/sketches, and over 750 personal letters.
These examples only scratch the surface of other tours and exhibits Google has given the public access too. The ability to travel across the world to one of the most famous museums all with the click of a button is truly the definition of living in the future. So explore some of the 500+ museum and gallery options today, and go where you’ve never gone before.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.